There are two important aspects of administering IV fluids: administering it at the right flow rate, and administering it at the right temperature. To do the latter, hospitals and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) use an IV warming system. But the requirements for a warming system that an EMS would use are different than the requirements for one that a hospital would use. In addition to featuring fast setup and warm-up, the system must be lightweight and battery-powered. With these things in mind, we profile the specifications of the best fluid warming system for best ems unit.
Set Up Time
The fastest set up time for an IV warmer is 30 seconds – a remarkable timeframe considering that a standard warmer takes 2-3 minutes to set up. For many emergency patients, 2-3 minutes is too long to wait for IV fluids to be administered, and this period of time doesn’t include warm-up time.
The fastest warm-up time for an IV warmer is 45 seconds, compared to 6-8 minutes for a standard warmer. When using a standard warmer, medical staff may administer IV fluids before they are warmed to at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which could result in hypothermia and/or cardiac arrest.
EMS crews need medical equipment to be as lightweight and portable as possible. The lightest weight portable IV warmer meets this need by having a total weight of less than two pounds when the battery is attached.
A standard fluid warming system must be plugged into an electrical outlet to operate, whereas portable warmers are battery powered. The lightest weight portable warmer uses a battery that weighs 1.25 pounds. Other portable warmers use batteries that can weigh six pounds, or more.
Proprietary tubing only benefits an IV warmer manufacturer, as it forces the owner to order more proprietary tubing instead of buying standard tubing. Portable warmers that do not use proprietary tubing are available, and make it easier for EMS crews to stay supplied with IV tubing.
Portable IV warmers can feature the same flow rate as traditional warmers. To administer all types of fluids in the correct capacity, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) require warmers that feature a flow rate of 2-150 ml per minute.
Standard IV warmers require two types of maintenance: standard mechanical maintenance, and sterilization between periods of use. Portable warmers that are disposable eliminate the need for maintenance, and prevent the risk of infection due to improper sterilization.
A standard IV fluid warmer is useful in hospitals and health clinics during non-emergency situations. But it doesn’t help EMTs, who need warmers that can be set up and heated promptly. And its need for AC current makes it incompatible with treatment that occurs outdoors or in an ambulance.